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7.1 Bln Yuan Allocated for Disaster Relief
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The Ministry of Finance has allocated a total of 7.1 billion yuan for disaster relief this year for post-disaster reconstruction in Hunan, Fujian, Guangdong, Guangxi and Sichuan.

Some 3.084 billion yuan, up 400 million yuan on the same period of last year, has been used in regions hit by severe natural disasters.

Another 3.49 billion yuan was channeled into disaster prevention in agriculture and forestry and the reconstruction of utilities destroyed by flood or drought.

The rest was used to restore sanitation, sports, cultural and broadcasting facilities and repair roads.

The Ministry of Finance said in a statement released here on Friday that the central government would continue to set aside funds for disaster relief. A contingency plan for this winter and next spring is under study.

To make sure relief funds are well used, a special investigation team will be sent to the disaster-hit provinces to hear the opinions of local governments and the general public. The team will also carry out on-spot checks on housing built for disaster victims.

Statistics released Monday by the Ministry of Civil Affairs show that natural disasters have killed 2,295 Chinese people this year and left 564 missing, and caused direct economic losses of 191.8 billion yuan.

Over 13.2 million people have been evacuated and relocated. Almost 6 million houses were severely damaged or destroyed.

(Xinhua News Agency September 16, 2006)

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